Riverbench Vineyard was established in 1973, when the first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were planted on the bank of the Sisquoc River, known as the Santa Maria Bench. For decades since then, some of the most renowned wineries have purchased Riverbench's fruit for their wines. In 2006, Riverbench began producing their own wines in limited quantities, with many available exclusively through their tasting rooms in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.
Situated on the southeastern edge of the Santa Maria Valley, the northernmost AVA in Santa Barbara County, the vineyard currently consists of more than 100 acres of Pinot Noir and 15 acres of Chardonnay. Riverbench continually evaluates the vines as they age, replanting as necessary. Over the years they added a premium sparkling wine program and continue to take steps to make wines that are inspired by centuries of sparkling wine making history in Champagne, France. Recently Riverbench added a third great grape varietal famous in that area, Pinot Meunier, to their vineyard.
The Santa Maria Valley is an appellation known for its diverse microclimates and ideal conditions for growing Burgundian varieties. This distinct wine region is characterized by the valleys in the Pacific coastline which run east to west instead of the more common north to south. Such a geographic peculiarity channels the cool ocean breezes inward, resulting in a mild and moderate climate where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive.
Riverbench's goal remains to produce the highest quality grapes in their vineyard, resulting in superb wine quality. Riverbench is committed to sustainable winegrowing practices that are environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically feasible. Keeping these sustainable practices in mind, Riverbench not only produces a superior product, but they are able to help protect the environment, conserve natural resources, maintain the long-term viability of their vineyard. Riverbench is a SIP Certified vineyard.